responsible irresponsibility

I’ve got a bit of a track record for doing something a completely unrelated right before important events.

I went to see a matinee of War Horse the afternoon before my Ph.D. defense.

I spent a long weekend hiking in Yosemite, returned home, and flew out the next day for the two academic interviews I did in December.

I went to see a brass band play until late, the night before I gave the biggest talk of my life (300 people, prestigious conference).

I passed my Ph.D. I got the jobs. I’ve been invited to give two other talks by people who saw the one in City of Jazz and Thrown Beads. My work and career did not suffer for these choices.

I also have memories of giant horse puppets and the sheer delight on my mother-in-law-to-be’s face when the foal grows up in one fell swoop. I have a camera roll of El Cap in a sunbeam and Pea perched on a ledge overlooking the valley. I had a swung version of a popular rap song in my head for three days.

If I look at stressful events head-on, they subsume me. I prepare. I practice. And then I leave them be until I need to focus again. I feel like these past two months have been that kind of mentality for me with fertility treatments. I’m eating protein, taking supplements, trying to structure a lower stress work environment, but I’m also drinking when I want to, and playing frisbee, and just not worrying about it. Maybe it will help. Certainly it has made the past two months much more of a life and less of a purgatory.

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